Katrina survivors distraught over pets

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Dark Knight, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    (AP) As Valerie Bennett was evacuated from a New Orleans hospital, rescuers told her there was no room in the boat for her dogs.

    She pleaded. "I offered him my wedding ring and my mom's wedding ring," the 34-year-old nurse recalled Saturday.

    They wouldn't budge. She and her husband could bring only one item, and they already had a plastic tub containing the medicines her husband, a liver transplant recipient, needed to survive.

    Such emotional scenes were repeated perhaps thousands of times along the Gulf Coast last week as pet owners were forced to abandon their animals in the midst of evacuation.

    In one example reported last week by The Associated Press, a police officer took a dog from one little boy waiting to get on a bus in New Orleans. "Snowball! Snowball!" the boy cried until he vomited. The policeman told a reporter he didn't know what would happen to the dog.

    The fate of pets is a huge but underappreciated cause of anguish for storm survivors, said Richard Garfield, professor of international clinical nursing at New York's Columbia University.

    "People in shelters are worried about 'Did Fluffy get out?'" he said. "It's very distressing for people, wondering if their pets are isolated or starving."

    Valerie Bennett left her dogs with an anesthesiologist who was taking care of about 30 staff members' pets on the roof of the hospital, Lindy Boggs Medical Center.

    "He said he'd stay there as long as he possibly could," Valerie Bennett recalled, speaking from her husband's bedside at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital.

    The Bennetts had four animals, including their two beloved dogs — Lorne's English springer spaniel, Oreo, and Valerie's miniature dachshund, Lady.

    They moved to Slidell, La., in July when Valerie took a job at an organ transplant institute connected to Lindy Boggs. Lorne, a former paramedic, is disabled since undergoing a liver transplant in 2001.

    On Saturday, as Hurricane Katrina approached, both went to the hospital to help and took all four animals with them.

    Patients were evacuated starting Monday by rescue workers using small boats to traverse the floodwaters surrounding the hospital. On Wednesday night, the Bennetts were told they had to go, too.

    They fed their guinea pig and left it in its cage in a patient room. They couldn't refill its empty water bottle because the hospital's plumbing failed Sunday, they said. They poured food on the floor for the cat, but again no water.



    "I just hope that they forgive me," Valerie Bennett cried.

    They handed the dogs to the anesthesiologist. Valerie got his last name but no cell phone number. "I wasn't thinking," she said.

    But on Saturday afternoon, Valerie Bennett said she saw a posting on a Web site called petfinder.com that said the anesthesiologist was still at Lindy Boggs caring for the animals.

    ___

    On the Net: http://www.petfinder.com
     
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  3. Mabel

    Mabel Former Member

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    This just breaks my heart. So much loss and heartache.
     
  4. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    This is so sad :( but the humane society will get in there when they can and start rescuing & housing abandoned pets.
     
  5. concernedperson

    concernedperson Former Member

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    The pain goes on and on.
     
  6. poco

    poco A cat will blink when struck with a hammer.

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    I would be a basket case if I had to leave my dog behind. I really don't think I could do it!
     
  7. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    Me too, I love my three cats - I wouldn't want to leave them behind. I bet thats why a lot of people refused to leave. Pets are part of the family and they would not leave them.
     
  8. PrayersForMaura

    PrayersForMaura Help Find Maura Murray

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    this completely breaks my heart. i don't understand why, when people lose everything and manage to save their pets that they can't bring them with them.

    no water given to the pets??

    man, this is killing me.
    I am in the process of adopting a pet from NO through the humane society as a foster parent... i wish i could take them all but i can't.

    there are good people in the nation who will help the animals, too.
    i know the humane society will be there as soon as they can and i will try my hardest not to blame them for not getting there soon enough.

    man, this hurts :(

    i feel so sorry for all of these people.
     
  9. Mabel

    Mabel Former Member

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    It would be horrible. My cats are my babies. They look to me to keep them fed, sheltered, and happy. I just can't imagine walking away to leave them in such awful conditions. If I couldn't take them and knew that they'd die a slow lingering death, I hope I'd have the courage to be merciful.
     
  10. PrayersForMaura

    PrayersForMaura Help Find Maura Murray

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    i agree... i could not do it. no way.
    my pets are my life, literally. i plan my trips and work around them as often as i can.
     
  11. tybee204

    tybee204 Administrator

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    I love my chihuahuas but Im having a harder time wrapping my head around how mothers are going to survive leaving their dead babies in the Superdome. I cant grasp the animal tragedy quite yet as I am so absorbed in the human tragedy.
     
  12. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    For many people, their pets are family members with fur. It would hurt nearly as much as losing a child. But I know some people don't understand that.
     
  13. tybee204

    tybee204 Administrator

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    I know DK, its just all so hard to absorb.
     
  14. bulletgirl2002

    bulletgirl2002 New Member

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    I love my dog too and it would be awful to leave him behind. I wouldn't if there were any way possible to take him. But people are more important. And I am thinking that it is a space issue.
     
  15. Details

    Details Former Member

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    I completely understand both sides here - I can't imagine leaving my cats home to die slowly - I'd go on short rations to give them food and water.

    But when there isn't enough food and water and space on evacuation buses for all the people, the people must come first, you can't give water to a cat that could save a child. Still, it's a horrible choice that has to be made.
     
  16. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

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    Another sad part to this awful tragedy. I know I could never just leave my dog behind. I rescued her from the middle of a busy highway, there's no way I'd leave her to drown or dehydrate & starve to death. I understand why some stayed behind and hoped to just hold out. So very sad.
     
  17. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    I know. I'm limiting my intake of it to avoid going crazy like I am seeing others around me becoming. It's easier to digest in moderation, if only a little. I donated, which made me feel like I at least helped out, and I tell others who feel helpless to try and do the same, even a few bucks. I gave to both human and animal charities. Plus the offering of prayers, of course, for everything suffering.
     
  18. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    I can't imagine leaving my beloved dogs behind, but I also can't imagine staying with my young son because I couldn't take my dog.
     
  19. Beyond Belief

    Beyond Belief New Member

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    I understand the animal attachment too. We drove to NC last year rather than go to a shelter so we could take the dog during hurricane Frances. Something about being a Jersey girl, I guess.
     
  20. Gabby

    Gabby The Gabster

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    My dogs would sit in my lap... I would NOT leave them.. they are the only things in this world that love a person unconditionally.... they stay... I stay.. simple as that.
     
  21. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    Yup, your siggy has always summed up my opinion exactly.
     

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